General Motors has commenced rolling out the first of its special version Chevrolet Volts to the state of California this week. General Motors was forced to create a special version of the range-extended sedan since previously, the Volt uses a four-cylinder engine when the battery runs out, rendering it unqualified for any of California's vehicle incentives.
Now, the Volt has a legal California version that features a special Low Emission package that allows the car to release less pollutants even when running on gasoline. The Volt special version could now cruise through California’s carpool lanes and at the same time, it qualifies for the state's $1,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
According to the company, California commuters using the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, which cover more than 1,400 miles in the Golden State, save an estimated 36 minutes per day in traffic.
Volt’s rival, the Nissan Leaf, is already allowed to cruise the HOV lanes in California. In 2011, General Motors sold 7,671 Volts in the United States, losing by two thousand units to Nissan, which was able to sell 9,674 Leafs. Around 30% of Volts sold were delivered in California while over 60% of Leafs sold went to the state. Volt owners could now get one of the 40,000 Clean Air stickers that the California Department of Motor Vehicles is making for registered vehicles that meet state emissions standards.
"The Volts with the Low Emissions Package are certain to be a strong draw for California commuters looking to travel the state’s notoriously congested freeways in the carpool lane,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. Commuters who use carpool lanes in Southern California save an estimated average 36 minutes a day, or about a third of their total driving time.